What to do When Writing Falls by the Wayside

I haven’t written much in a while, not just a blog post here, but any writing at all. It feels like forever. I didn’t intend not to write but “life” got in the way. I was in the hospital, my husband was in the hospital, then all three of us got colds. We have been traveling a lot, and I have been chauffeuring my son to all sorts of activities.

What to do when writing goes by the wayside

When I look at all the reasons I haven’t done any writing they look like just excuses. I suppose that’s what they are. I have so much that I want (have) to do that I can get paralyzed and not get anything done. Has that ever happened to you? If so, you are not alone.

Here is what I am doing to get over the writing slump:

Own it

For me, the first step is acknowledging those reasons and/or excuses that have kept me from writing, head on. You can’t change the past so there is no use dwelling on it. However, it is good to take a look at which reasons are valid and which ones are just excuses and go deeper into the why.

Is it fear holding me back? Maybe. Probably. Fear of what? Sometimes people self-sabotage because they have fears they don’t want to admit. Writing is such a personal and vulnerable thing, especially when it is published. There is fear of rejection. Fear that no one will like your writing. Fear that it won’t sell and so on.

In my case, it was mostly health issues that prevented me from writing. It is also because I have a strong sense of overwhelm. I have so many things I want to write, nonfiction and fiction, that I don’t know where to begin!

Give Yourself Grace

Like I said before, you can’t change the past. There is no use beating yourself up for not reaching your writing goals or not taking the time to write at all. Welcome to the human race. No one is perfect and that’s okay. It is more than okay. Being human, in all its imperfections is awesome. 🙂

So, give yourself grace. Throw all those self-defeating lies out the window and forget about what was. Now it is time to focus on what is.

Start again, slowly.

If you want to get back to writing, do it. Take out your calendar and pick a day and time to write. Make it a nonnegotiable appointment and keep it. BUT, keep it small – 10 or 15 minutes tops. Begin making these appointments a regular thing and then increase the length as you are able.

It doesn’t have to be every day. Once a week is great. Every other week works too. Make a plan that you can work with and that won’t overwhelm you.

Or, pick a small project to start with. Write a 1000 word flash fiction piece or (as in my case) write a blog post. I am also getting into the swing of writing by putting together a couple of coaching packages that I have been meaning to get posted.

Create a ritual

Rituals or habits are a great way to center yourself and get into the mood for writing. For me, writing is best done after I have completed my morning routine, checked my email, and have a bottle of water (or cup of tea) at my side. Most of the time I can do this before the rest of the family is up. If not, I have a back up!

My second best writing time is in the afternoon after lunch is done and my son is occupied. It isn’t always my best writing because I am a definite morning person, but it is writing nevertheless. 🙂

Your turn!

What do you do when I have taken a writing hiatus (on purpose or otherwise)? How do you get back on track? Please share!

Next Steps

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Misused Words: Meet, Mete, and Meat

Sometimes the simplest words can be mixed up or confused. These words are no different so here are some examples of each:

Misused Words: Meet, Mete, and Meat

Meet means having an encounter or appointment with someone.

For example: The author is going to meet with her editor this afternoon.

For example: I hope the Post Office will forward the mail to my new address.

Mete means to give out or to allot something, often related to some sort of judgement or punishment.

For example: The evil character in the book is all too happy to mete out punishment on all who cross his path!

For example: However, the hero is almost always able to mete out justice on the evil character for those who have been wronged.

Meat, of course, is food. It is usually related to a type of protein such as beef.

For example: What kind of meat do you want for dinner tonight?

For example: Her daughter’s favorite type of meat is flank steak.

A side note: Mete isn’t used as often as it once was but you may still encounter the word, especially in older books and/or academia. The other two, naturally, you are probably very familiar with, but again, sometimes we can be careless and spell the word incorrectly so it is good to go back to basics once in a while. 🙂

Next Steps

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Misused Words: Forward vs Foreword

From what I’ve seen, the mistakes between forward and foreword is more of a problem of spelling more than understanding but it doesn’t hurt to remind ourselves, right? {smile}

Misused Words: Forward vs Foreword

Simply put, forward means going toward, ahead, or advancing in some way.

For example: Going forward, we will have to work better as a team.

For example: I hope the Post Office will forward the mail to my new address.

Foreword is an introductory note or statement. This is often seen at the beginning of a book where someone writes something about the author and/or the book she is writing.

For example: I would love to have one of my favorite authors to write the foreword of my new soon-to-be-released book!

For example: Have you read the foreword to Jeff Goin’s latest book?

What is most tricky about the two words is the spelling because forward has no “e” and has an “a,” whereas foreword adds an “e” and has an “o.”  There is no real trick to remember the spellings for each, but for some reason, when I see or write the word “foreword” I picture a golfer calling out “fore!” LOL! It may be goofy but it helps me and maybe it will help you too. 🙂

Next Steps

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For information about my proofreading and coaching services visit the work with me page.